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WH to Lobby House GOP on Softening Senate Bill on Moscow Sanctions

19 June 2017

The latest measure will be attached as an amendment to a larger bill that would see new sanctions imposed on Iran.

The other senator voting no, Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky, told The Washington Examiner that he doesn't favor any new measures against Iran or Russian Federation.

The underlying bill imposed new sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program and support for worldwide terrorism. Crapo introduced the "Countering Russian Aggression and Cyberattacks Act of 2017" Tuesday as an amendment to the Iran sanctions bill. Senators say the legislation won't undermine the landmark nuclear deal with Iran.

But Tillerson urged Congress to make the sanctions legislation doesn't tie the president's hands and shut down promising avenues of communication between the two former Cold War foes.

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee was initially hesitant to pass a new Russian Federation sanctions bill, but he played a key role in drafting the final language.

According to Slutsky, these actions show the high degree of anti-Russian "hysteria" still present in the United States. The regime in Tehran directly supports the Syrian Assad regime through Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, its proxy in Lebanese Hezbollah, and various Shiite militias. Russian Federation has supported Assad's regime throughout the Middle Eastern nation's five-year long civil war while the USA has opposed the current government.

The agreement has also established a process for the Congress to review any attempt by Presidnent Donald Trump to relax, suspend or terminate the sanctions. Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland did not vote. Rand Paul and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) voted against the bill. The measure also would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

House leadership has not yet decided when or if it will take up the bill.

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Sanctions are authorized on Russia's mining and shipping sectors as well, and the government is required to study the US economy's exposure to Russian state-owned enterprises.

Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, had questioned the legislation in testimony in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

But as the inquiries examine whether members of Trump's campaign discussed easing sanctions on Russian Federation after Trump won the election, Congress is hitting the brakes on any possibility of warmer relations with the country that's United States intelligence agencies say tried to meddle in the USA democratic process.

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WH to Lobby House GOP on Softening Senate Bill on Moscow Sanctions